Needing a close place to paddle, I've been contemplating this river for some time. Loaded the canoe, bike and my 2 yr old and headed toward Galesburg.
I was having trouble finding place to take out in Augusta when I noticed two trucks with canoe racks jammed back in the woods just east of the bridge and west of the tracks. I talked with two gentlemen there who gave me the run down for this section of river. Apparently this spot is for a livery but everyone uses it. Lucky they were there or i wouldn't have found it.
Headed up to Clark Road where there is adequate parking to unload. Drop the gear and headed back to Augusta to drop the truck. From there, headed back to Clark Road with my boy in the bike seat. 4 mile ride and the road isn't very busy. Not bad if you are a solo operation.
Finally in the canoe and on the water. I did the trip in just under 2 hours but was paddling pretty heavy for half the trip. Weather was looking rough.
Compared to the northern rivers I grew up on, this river is a disappointment. The banks are mostly dead trees and the water is very murky. I hit several "things" that could not be seen at all. Probably sounds weird but it didn't even smell nice; it didn't stink, just lacked that fresh river smell I'm used to. Also, you never escape the roaring sound of the highway. On the good side, I was on the water within 20 miles of my house.
There were plenty of turtles, a lot of softshells. I have never seen those before. A few herons, a hawk, and a surprise visit from a muskrat. My boy stayed in the canoe for his first trip and it didn't rain.
All in all it was a successful trip but I would rather drive 80 miles to a nicer river and wont likely run this section again.